Updated: Dec 3, 2021
ARTESHOQ presented an exhibition about identity - ANA NESH - introducing artists Zakaria Barkan and Sherwood Nkwenti.
About the collaboration
When Zakaria contacted me to collaborate together for his upcoming exhibition, I couldn't refuse. He was looking for jewellery that were typical North-African. As I have a huge personal collection of old vintage silver pieces - it was the perfect occasion to bring them out of my closet. Most of the pieces are coming from the Village of my Grandma - El Faces, Tunisia.
What I loved the most about this collaboration is about this collab is that everything was based on trust, intuition and seeing on the moment what felt right. And not to forget Souhaila Maleem that posed for this collaboration - beautiful inside AND out. The interaction between Zakaria & Souhaila was the sweetest thing to witness. Grateful that I could share this beautiful creative moment with them both.
About the exhibition
ANA being the Arabic word and NESH the Tamazight (Berber) word for “I”, ANA NESH invites you to reflect on who you and I are in our society today. Bringing five young artists together, we introduce the new voices of Bader & Ahmed Shashit, Dounia Aerts, Kawtar Ouh, Samira El-Kaddouri and Zakaria Barkan & Sherwood Nkwenti. Each of them explores the concept of “urban identity” in their own, diverse way through film, photos, text and typography, showing us particularly creative answers to how identity is defined today.
Identity is about concepts such as perception, society, culture, personality, gender, nationality and the search for the other in oneself. It touches to the core of inclusivity: recognition of each individual’s uniqueness, respect and encounter. On the other hand, misunderstanding of an identity leads to exclusion, discomfort and denial.
Bringing five young artists together, we introduce the new voices of Bader & Ahmed Shashit, Dounia Aerts, Kawtar Ouh, Samira El-Kaddouri and Zakaria Barkan. Each of them explores the concept of “urban identity” in their own, diverse way through film, photos, text and typography, showing us particularly creative answers to how identity is defined today.
About the artists
Zakaria & Sherwood present an emotional visual short story that depicts the nature of identity in today’s young generation. Taking the viewer along a wide spectrum of themes and multiple narratives, the series of imagery symbolizes the individualistic nature of identity rather than the usually generalized approach which often results in various forms of
“As identity can be regarded as the way one perceives and expresses oneself, it is primarily sculpted by certain conditions or factors to which one is born into. And secondly, by experiences one has encountered throughout life. Therefore, we challenge the viewer to contemplate and reflect on the series with his or her unique lens of looking at life.”
In this video, you can see all the silver jewellery from my personal collection worn by Souhaila Maalem. The chocker she's wearing, was my very first attempt to make a new piece out of existing vintage silver jewellery. It was an assemblage of several pieces that I could find in the Atelier in Tunis, La Medina. All the other pieces wer bought in the village of my Grandma, may peace be upon here.
Photography: Zakaria Barkan
Model: Souhaila Maalem